Rural Vermont towns have a strong sense of community as well as a beloved sense of place. However, these values exist within the growing challenges of infrastructure failure; rising property values and taxes; generational poverty; crime; domestic, alcohol and drug abuse; school closings; access to jobs and job loss; aging population; lack of medical care; agriculture failures; disparities between the wealthy and the poor; environmental or civic disasters; and land use issues. How do small towns deal with the impact of these social, economic, and environmental forces?
For the past six years, the presenters have visited thirty-five Vermont communities and interviewed townspeople about serious issues their towns have faced. In this seminar they will report on their findings and how these problems were recognized, faced, maybe solved, or have yet to be resolved. An appearance by Vermont's troubadour, Jon Gailmor, will introduce and conclude the presentation.